Czech energy giant ČEZ has begun the construction of a pipeline running
from the Temelín nuclear power plant to the South Bohemian city of České
Budějovice. The CZK 1.4 billion project is expected to cover 30 percent of
the city’s heating needs once it is finished in 2021. The Czech
engineering and construction company Tenza has been put in charge of the
project, which aims to build two 26km long underground pipelines connecting
the power plant with the city.
It is hoped that thanks to the pipeline the local heating plant will be able to decrease the amount of coal it burns annually by 80,000 tons, lowering the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
The January figures for industrial production and the construction sector
show a year-on-year decline, analysts from the Czech Statistics Office
announced on Friday.
A 6.9 percent decrease in car manufacturing is seen as primarily
responsible for the 1 percent decline in overall industrial production.
Construction went down by 13.2 percent in comparison to figures in January 2018. The Czech News Agency reports this difference was due to more favourable weather conditions in the previous year, when an exceptionally warm January allowed construction firms to proceed with building projects unhindered.
Meanwhile, energy companies and pharmaceutical firms experienced an increase in production. Statisticians also reported an overall 1.9 percent increase in the number of orders issued to Czech companies.
The Supreme Audit Office says procrastination at the Trade and Industry
Ministry was partly to blame for problems with drafting EU funds for
research and innovation in the past few years.
An in-depth audit revealed that individuals and institutions who filed for an EU grant in 2016 had to wait a year for the ministry’s decision. This significantly reduced interest in grants over the next two years.
Consequently,the Czech Republic has only managed to draft ten percent of the 34.8 billion crowns that the EU placed at its disposal between 2014 and 2020.
Car-maker Škoda Auto has won a 780 million crown tender announced by the
Ministry of Finance to provide passenger cars to various state
institutions. The car manufacturer will provide over 1,370 vehicles to 10
ministries and subsidiary organisations. The Czech Republic’s prison
service has already received 30 Škoda Octavia models.
Škoda Auto had also won a 250 million tender to provide 4x4 drive passenger cars to the police, but the tender was cancelled by the country’s anti-monopoly office, which claimed its requirements unfairly favoured the Czech car-maker Auto against other bidders.
The State Institute for Drug Control has urged British pharmaceutical
companies to file for a new export licence to the Czech Republic, according
to its head Irena Storová.
Ms. Storová said that around twenty British companies exporting pharmaceutical products to the Czech Republic had failed to do so, which would present a serious problem post-Brexit and could result in fall-outs on the Czech market.
The issue concerns all EU member states some of which have reportedly made a similar appeal.
The production of passenger cars in the Czech Republic increased by 1.7
percent last year to a new record of 1.437 million vehicles, the Automotive
Industry Association said Thursday. Production has now grown for a fifth
Exports of passenger cars rose 2 percent year on year while domestic purchases dropped 1.7 percent in 2018.
Leading carmaker and exporter Škoda Auto increased its production to 886,103 cars, up 3.3 percent in annual terms. The Volkswagen subsidiary said growth was due to the modernisation and expansion of its Czech manufacturing plants.
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing, on the other hand, recorded a 4.6 percent drop in production to 340,300 cars. TPCA, a joint venture of Toyota, Peugeot and Citroën, returned to production growth with a 6 percent increase to 210,993 vehicles.
Overall confidence in the Czech economy has declined for a third
consecutive month, dropping by 0.6 points to 98 points, the Czech
Statistical Office (ČSU) announced on Thursday.
Compared to last January, overall confidence in the economy is down, with levels lower for both business and consumers year on year.
Overall confidence in the Czech economy last dipped below 98 points in July 2017, when it stood at 97.7 points.
However, while business confidence has fallen in monthly terms, that of consumers has not, holding steady at December’s level.
The Czech economy is by some measures the most competitive in Central and Eastern Europe. But productivity has not kept pace with the rapid wage growth of recent years. And without greater state support for applied research and to encourage innovation, the Ministry of Industry warns, long-term competitiveness – already now “frozen” – could plummet.
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